I remember many years ago in my early years of work when my mother would encourage me to make sure my disability was brought up during an interview or even in applications for jobs. She said I would have a better chance. I never saw it happen. I never had a job where I made more than $19,500 a year. I've had orthopedic problems since birth and my mother often told me all the things I could not do, not even try. I've been able to do more than was thought possible, but it hasn't been easy. I've been determined to be as independent as possible but things are getting much harder. I volunteered many years at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. and down here at the Junior Museum, the library, and the Radio Reading Service at WFSU. I've stopped volunteering now because some days it is all I can do to do what I have to do. My last regular paying job was at what was then known as Independance for the Blind but has changed it's name first to FIRE and now to The Lighthouse. I retired on disability but since then have been able to work as needed with those who've known me for a long time and know what I can do well. I don't make much but enjoy the occasional work which is usually reading and/or recording. There are "bad apples" who have taken advantage of unemployment and unfortunately those are the ones that people remember and judge others on. Many, many hard working, honest people are suffering during these times. Politicians get elected and immediately start their next campaign and don't see what is really going on. Campaign promises are completely forgotten. Jobs are made available for the cheapest going rate, usually overseas, and not for folks who can do with the proper training a much better job. Good customer service is so rare that I make a point of complimenting a person who has given me some. People are getting discouraged and depressed and that makes looking for a job even harder. I know, I've been there. Barbara ----- Original Message ----- From: Chip Orange To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx Sent: Wednesday, July 14, 2010 2:33 PM Subject: [tabi] attitudes toward the unemployed some of the article below is just unbelievable, and not at all good news for those seeking jobs: Back to web version Wednesday, Jul 14, 2010 Posted on Thu, Jul. 08, 2010 Unemployed need support from Congress By BARB SHELLY The Kansas City Star They are our neighbors and our kids' schoolteachers. They are the people who in better times built our houses and highways, manufactured the goods we use and stocked the shelves in our stores. Meet the long-term unemployed. There but for some fortunate breaks go many of us. So why are they being vilified? Congress is dithering on extending unemployment insurance benefits. The longer the debate goes on, the more it encourages the false but deep-rooted American notion that if a person is in need, it's got to be his or her fault. And so we have senators and think-tank types opining that extended unemployment insurance presents a "disincentive" for people to look for work. As if living on uncertainty and an average of $310 a week is now the great American dream. We have Rand Paul, the GOP senatorial candidate from Kentucky, lecturing on a radio show that ". ultimately we do have to sometimes accept a wage that's less than we had at our previous job in order to get back to work and allow the economy to get started again." Like people desperate for jobs haven't thought of that. We have people using the Internet's cloak of anonymity to express insulting opinions. "The great unasked question in the face of bad unemployment numbers is, how many of these people weren't performing well even in the 'good' times?" a reader asked in response to a piece by journalist Rod Dreher on beliefnet.com. And we have some employers specifying in their job listings that "unemployed candidates will not be considered" or applicants "must be currently employed." And no, discrimination against the unemployed is not prohibited by law. We have in our nation a tendency to want to blame people for their own bad circumstances. It reared up in the health care debate, when uninsured people were maligned as handout seekers. It's social Darwinism in action even if some who exhibit it don't subscribe to the theory of evolution. And I will agree that actions and behaviors can and often do play a role in one's circumstances. But right now we have five job seekers applying for every opening. Those are lousy odds, even if employers aren't stigmatizing the unemployed. Who are the long-term unemployed? I asked Christine Owens, executive director of the National Employment Law Project, a research and advocacy group. They tend to be older, she said, usually 45 years and up. A majority are men. Many, but by no means all, have less than a college education. Many worked in construction, manufacturing, banking, and retail. They have been out of work at least 26 weeks, often much longer. I know some of these people. Many of them have worked for decades and took great pride in doing so. They are people who volunteer in their communities, send their kids to college and care for elderly parents. The notion that they're using their unemployment checks to finance an extended vacation would be comical except that some people actually believe it. Conservatives tell us that "the overwhelming majority" of studies show that people postpone looking for work if they're receiving unemployment pay. Don't buy it. Newer research is finding that it's not the lack of trying that's keeping people out of work. It's the lack of jobs. One example: Economists Rob Valetta and Katherine Kuang at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco analyzed the experiences of workers who left their jobs voluntarily and received no unemployment benefits, and workers who were laid off and receive unemployment insurance. They found little difference in the length of time it took the two categories of workers to find new jobs. For both groups, the search took too long. Of course Congress should extend unemployment benefits. The money will act as a stimulus, stave off foreclosures and keep people from needing other forms of aid. Agree or disagree, but can we at least not make unemployed people the villains of this debate? They don't need the hassle. They need jobs.